Flantasia is the story of a family history. Mima’s legacy, a great grandmother’s culinary secrets passed down through four generations; the love, tenacity, and devotion of one mother, Mara, who would not give up when faced with adversity, and Rachel, her young daughter’s capacity to defy negative odds.
At the age of two, Rachel was diagnosed with ADHD, Autism and Expressive/Repressive Language Delay. From the instant that Mara learned the news, she dedicated herself to ensure that her daughter would receive, despite the limited coverage provided by the insurance, the best treatments available at the time. When Rachel started school, Mara volunteered in the classroom to stay close to her child and to constantly advocate for her. Although Rachel was unable to pass the standardized tests promoting her to fourth grade, she did qualify for a partial scholarship to a private program. With the financial help of family and friends, Rachel attended the private school until the age of eighteen but was unable to obtain a high school diploma or a GED upon completion. The breakthrough occurred a year later when Rachel joined Learning Links School. The constant reinforcement provided by her mother throughout her life, and the therapeutic approach at Learning Links School, marked a quantitative and qualitative change in Rachel’s intellectual development, which was noticeable to everyone who had known her.
Throughout the difficult early years, Mara used Mima’s flan recipe to supplement the family’s finances. She never imagined that Rachel was paying attention to this activity, much less that through simple observation her daughter was learning the basics of cooking or appreciating the satisfaction one can derived from it. This became evident when Rachel, encouraged through the Learning Links School program, started displaying her enjoyment and a real passion in baking, creating, and selling the products that helped her and her classmates to earn some funds.
Now, Rachel and Mara have embarked in this new venture using Mima’s recipes to provide a variety of quality products and tantalize the taste buds of those who eat these delicious flans. We are excited to see this business grow as it will provide employment opportunities to other young adults like Rachel and will prove that a great deal more can be achieved than that which standard tests are able to measure.